Donald Trump to walk away from Scots business interests

The US president-elect says he will be fully focused on running the country.

Donald Trump: Billionaire is director of three businesses in Scotland. <strong>PA</strong>
Donald Trump: Billionaire is director of three businesses in Scotland. PA

US president-elect Donald Trump has said he will step away from his businesses when he takes up office in the White House next year.

The billionaire is the director of three businesses in Scotland – Trump Turnberry, Trump International and a helicopter firm registered at Turnberry.

Concerns had been raised that Mr Trump would struggle to remain impartial when dealing with the leaders of countries where does business.

Under US law the president is exempt from legislation intended to prevent conflicts of interest.

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In a series of tweets on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Trump said: “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my businesses in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again.

“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.

“Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.”

“The presidency is a far more important task,” he added.

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Mr Trump has been encouraged to follow the lead of former presidents Bush and Clinton and put his holdings in a blind trust, through which his businesses would be managed independently.

However, he has indicated that he intends to hand control of his companies to his children.

Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr are all involved in the running of their father’s Scottish golf courses and also act as political advisers.

Mr Trump has business interests in at least 20 countries, but the full extent of his financial exposure is unclear as he has refused to release his tax returns.

Mr Trump fought a failed legal battle against the development of a wind farm in Aberdeen Bay, which he claims will spoil the view from Trump International Golf Links.

As recently as July, the Trump Organisation indicated that it was considering taking the case to European courts.

Mr Trump has reportedly encouraged former Ukip leader Nigel Farage to lobby against the development of wind farms in Scotland.


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